U.S.-based Precision Agriculture division also names new North America sales manager

Japan-based Topcon Corporation, parent company of Livermore, Calif.-based Topcon Positioning Systems Inc. (TPS), announced Satoshi Hirano will lead the company as its next CEO.

Publicly traded Topcon, founded in 1932, trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and generates over $1 billion in annual sales. TPS is the world’s largest manufacturer of precision GPS and GNSS systems, commercial lasers, and optical instruments for the global surveying, civil engineering, asset management, mapping, construction, agriculture and mobile control industries.

Topcon said the reason for the management change is a shift to accelerating growth strategies after a three-year cost-cutting plan was achieved in just 24 months this March, allowing the company to “focus on robust earnings management under the new administration.”

Hirano, 55, has been with Topcon for 31 years and is currently the company’s Director, Managing Executive Officer. Topcon’s board of directors also proposed that current CEO Norio Uchida become its full-time advisor.

The management changes will be voted on June 26, following the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.

In related news, TPS announced Michael Stone has been named North America sales manager of its Precision Agriculture division.

“The spreading of precision agriculture is essential to sustainability of the industry in North America and I look forward to leading Topcon’s sales efforts,” said Stone.

Stone has been with Topcon since it acquired KEE Technologies in 2006, serving in various positions in the U.S and Australian headquarters of TPA, including applications engineer, global field test manager and most recently, business development manager, supporting its OEM partnerships in Australia.

Stone will report to Michael Bourke, director of sales.

“Michael is extremely knowledgeable in precision agriculture product and farming techniques and has served TPA well with his understanding of the technical side of the business as well as the sales, training and support needs of our OEM partners,” said Bourke.